Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Post Titled: Will I have anything better to do today that dig up obscure things of interest on ze eeenternet?
Post Subtitled: How to live off of €1,63 a day and be ok with it. Sort of.

Disclaimer: in the following paragraph I was going to complain about my life in more drastically colorful ways, but... then I realized that I have nothing to complain about. Sure, we are completely and utterly broke and there are 101 things that could be better, but the fact is that I have an amazing woman whom I adore to experience life with; plenty of space to live in (even if it is chilly space); and 2.25 jobs (even if I get paid extremely irregularly); a few friends (new and old); and several creative talents. Therefore, I have nothing to complain about.

Berlin is doing the trick and my mind is levelling-out, as I had hoped. No more tense nervous USA-inspired panic like I had in years past. I now end up saying things like "Oh, the Oscars? When were those?" and (absent-mindedly) "More troops in Iraq. right." This is a healthy dose of Euro-apathy which I will not let settle in totally because I am naturally a bit restless to begin with, but really- by pulling back from the American Media/Etc Machine I feel pleasantly freed of its forced tides... Imagine it as a Hollywood set created for a storm at sea, build just slightly offshore- the deck is just a of the fraction of a boat, a platform really, and it is attacked on all sides by 1,000,000 gallons of water and jet-engine force winds while the crew is fighting for their lives. If you are on this deck, you are IN the storm, but if you view this scene from a slight distance you can see the gears and pullies and engines and water tanks which can allow the crew to experience a real White Squall-grade storm, but all around the ocean it is actually quiet, a few waves breaking here here and there... meanwhile the hecticness in front of and behind the camera feeds itself, quite unaware of anything else... the boom guy trying to get close but not too close...

So, on that note here is some sort-of news:

Ironically I found a German copy of Gabriel Zaid's So MANY Books! at the bottom of a pile of pulp crap romance and travel/cookbook/mystery/thrillers in a clearance booksale last weekend. Originally priced at €14,90 it was on sale for €2. Marianne Goldin (Cult of Youth) had originally reccommended this book as a fascinating read, mainly because of its premise:
Fifty years after the introduction of television, he writes, the number of titles published worldwide each year has increased fourfold from 250,000 to 1 million - from 100 books for every million humans to 167. A book is published somewhere in the world every 30 seconds.
Zaid sees the true problem in the hopeless disproportion between the flood of books and the time and physical space of readers already overwhelmed by the larger information deluge. The speed of publication, Zaid writes, makes us "exponentially more ignorant. If a person reads a book a day, he would be neglecting to read 4,000 others, published the same day."

-Ouch. Try telling that to the kids.

Speaking of other overwhelming problems in the world that are more serious and less luxurious, not to mention very unlikely to ever be solved, here is an excerpt from Tom Friedman's speech at CalTech:
"2% of our biofuel needs are coming from 14% of corn production - hence it is NOT possible to envision a day when corn based ethanol will supplant fossil fuel. We as a nation spend as much in 1 hour at the gas pump - across the nation collectively - any 1 busy hour of the day - as we spend annually in renewable energy research. There is as much sunshine hitting US in 1 hour as our need for an entire year if we can convert 50% of that energy. One proposal is to sequester CO2 under the earth - but this will require plugging holes in the earth, or else the CO2 will seep out. It moves around laterally quite easily. Texas alone has 1.5 million holes from oil exploration, and each and every one of them have to be capped!) Amongst currently declared presidential candidates, he said Obama has the best record for sponsoring an emission cap rule."
ripped off from DailyKos

Hmm, Internet Archive... overwhelming.

P.S. There are now 19 people out sick today, nothing is happening. I am temporarily a full-time blogger again, quite unwillingly, but what else can I do- THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS if one has to sit in front of a cmputer from 6-9, not to mention we just published a magazine and everybody is taking a big deep preath before the next one rears its ugly head... ok, maybe not "ugly" head. But you know- stressy head.
P.S.S. (thought to self: wow, these posts could use some photos, getting a bit texty...)


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